Noah Breakspear

if x=y then C+=A+

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Stuart McLean’s “Emil”

268x0wIn every story, there are magnificent surprises that will get the reader questioning. In Stuart McLean’s “Emil”, Readers will begin to question their morals, values, and beliefs when it comes to financial support to the homeless. The story follows the perspective of Morley, a kind-hearted mother that learns the veracity of Emil’s peculiar lifestyle. All throughout this narrative, the neighbourhood uses their past experiences and beliefs to judge Emil as a stereotypical homeless man. Morley, on the other hand, opens up to him and tries to take a different approach, allowing her to gain knowledge of this unique being. Having Emil in Morley’s day to day life makes her more understanding towards people with different lifestyles. This allows Morley to truly visualize that not all homeless people have the same goal of achieving money. We see this empathy early into the story when Morley asks Dave, “What is his name?” (pg. 110). Many readers may take this as a sign of kindness as she is thinking about him during the day. When I read this quote, I take it as a sign of respect. Morley is not only thinking about Emil, but she cares about him to a higher extent than her neighbourhood. There is one thing in this world that poverty can’t take and that is our name. Most people in today’s society will just donate a couple of dollars to a stranger. In my opinion, this has no deep meaning or empathy. Morley, who could have just gave Emil some money and left, treated him like a normal and equal human being. She cared about his interest in gardening and had an overall positive attitude when talking to him. In conclusion, Morley portrays a character that is willing to help anyone and doesn’t expect anything in return. Email has influenced her to have an open mind when viewing others with different or unusual lifestyles. There is on the only word that describes her the best: Human.

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Theory Wars

After watching Star Wars: A New Hope, I find that the social power lens is the most useful to truly understand the deeper meanings behind the movie. Being a pedantic Star Wars fan, I have watched this 1977 film many times, but after being asked to watch it through different perspectives, I have learned and gained much more knowledge about the smaller details. As most viewers know, this film goes through the battle between the Imperials and the Rebellion. The Rebellion suffers from devastating oppression and either must flee the galaxy or fight for their freedom. Looking back to prior learnings such as the revolutions, wars, and rebellions we learned in class, all have started with one of the social classes wanting to make a difference in their society whether it be a social change, technology change, economic change or a political change. After watching the first movie, many viewers can depict where each of the classes fit on the social ladder: The Imperials are on top, having the strongest and most powerful army. They are then followed by the Rebellion who attempt to overthrow the Emperor and restore democracy to the galaxy. Next is the neutral or noble class, which are not good nor bad but rather just try to gain social status or wealth. At the bottom, we have the slaves, robots and the poor who are owned by higher classes. Watching the film through the social power lens helped me notice that Star Wars (1977) is a direct commentary on fascism. The Imperials are not fond of the Rebel Alliance and are aggressively wanting to remove all remains of the Jedi Order along with it. The idea of fascism can also tie into the race lens as one ethnic group seeks out to be the sovereign with no hesitation. This ties into the second thing I noticed: Star Wars shows that violence is the only way to deal with our problems. At no point in the movie did the opposing sides try to reconcile and make amends. Although this is easier said than done, both the Imperials and the Rebels could have come to a consensus instead of causing mass death and destruction to the galaxy. The final concept that I had discovered was that Star Wars advocates how influential money is on people. Han Solo demonstrates this several times throughout this movie. When Luke, Kenobi, and the robots were on the Death Star, Han states that he’s finished helping as it’s far from what he agreed with but Luke informs that Leia is rich, almost instantly persuading Han to continue helping, only in it for the reward at the end. This indicates that money was the overall manipulation of everyone’s minds; if the outcome was money, then whatever risk you need to take would be totally worth it. In conclusion, Watching Star Wars through the social power lens and having that power, economics, and social knowledge will undeniably make it more enjoyable as you have the background information needed to understand the struggles between the two opposing sides. Therefore, I believe this movie is about social status. Whoever has the strongest army, most power or most money, will be at the top of the social ladder.

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